Places to visit in Ancona

Ancona has a population of about 100,000 people, and due to the fact that it is nearby numerous important transportation links, it has been a trading centre for over 3,000 years. This Italian city has much to offer its visitors, as it is filled with nature and history, as well as many interesting ancient and medieval sites. The Mount Conero, which is Ancona’s mountain, is now declared as a regional park in order to protect its natural habitat. Tourists and locals who enjoy things a little more natural will love the Parco Del Conero, which is a wonderful place to explore rock caves and white Limestone cliffs.
Ancona and its surrounding towns boast many historic theatres, which are a continuous source of entertainment for locals and visitors that come to see the variety of performances that take place, and afterwards, Italian cuisine and some of the best wine in the country can be enjoyed at one of the many wonderful restaurants of the city.

In the summer, when Ancona is at its warmest temperatures, visitors come from far to enjoy the clear blue waters and sandy beaches in the area. However, autumn is a busy time in Ancona for various festivals, such as the Sea Festival, which takes place on the first Sunday of September. On this day, hundreds of boats sail out onto the sea, in remembrance of those who had lost their lives to the waters. The boats are a spectacular sight to see, but on land, the whole city comes alive as well. There are colourful parades through the streets, various types of shows for entertainment and the popular ‘degli Archi’ fair. In September, around the same time as the Sea Festival, the Conero regatta makes its way over the waters as well.  

There are a few other fairs and exhibitions for which Ancona is famous, including the International Dog Show and Exhibition of doggie products in February and the International Fishing Exhibition, Marine Show and Sea Products Show, which takes place in March. The Trade Fair is held in June, and the famous Adriatic Motor Show is the highlight of October.

A day away from the beaches is well-spent visiting Ancona’s numerous buildings and monuments of interest. A favourite religious building in the city is the Cathedral of S. Ciriaco, which is also Ancona’s main monument. It dates back to medieval times, around the 11th to 13th centuries, and is found on the hill just above the harbour. While admiring the rare combination of various architectural styles, such as Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine, visitors can also enjoy wonderful views of the city. Another example of a Romanesque church is the Chiesa Santa Maria Della Piazza, found in the Piazza S. Maria. This church is actually built above two Paleochristian churches, of which the remains can still be seen.

Two popular monumental buildings in Ancona are the marble Arch of Trajan, or the Arco Di Traiano and the Lazzaretto. The Arch of Trajan is an 18-meter high structure, built long ago to serve as an entrance to the causeway, and is perched up high on a podium surrounded by a wide flight of steps. The Arch was built in honour of the emperor who had much to do with the establishment of the harbour. This building is also considered to be a landmark for ships coming in to Ancona from the sea. The figurines on the structure are of Trajan, his wife and his sister. The pentagonal building of the Lazzaretto is one of Ancona’s most popular landmarks, and was once used for the protection of military defense authorities and as a military hospital and barracks. Today it has a livelier atmosphere, hosting numerous events, fairs and music festivals.

The Marche National Archaeological Museum is perhaps one of the most popular museums in the city, while the City Art Gallery Francesco Podesti is an important art gallery with works by artists who lived in the March region between the 14th and 19th centuries. Some of Ancona’s other museums and galleries include the Gallery of Modern Art and the Diocese Museum of Sacred Art, nearby the Saint Ciriaco Cathedral.

Nightlife in the city of Ancona is relatively tame when compared to some other major Italian cities. Mostly, locals will enjoy some food and wine in the bars and restaurants of the city centre to the later evening hours. Those who seek further entertainment then make their way to the famous discos in Rimini or Riccione, which are about an hour’s drive away. Train can also reach these towns. There is also a popular disco club about 35 km from the city. Many of Ancona’s restaurants and bars provide lovely atmosphere with live music and other forms of entertainment.

Visitors in Ancona can also easily travel to many other nearby towns of interest. Those recommended include the historic centres of Loreto, Jesi, Recanati, Urbino, Fabriano and Senigallia. Nearby Ancona, there is also the spectacular natural grotto of Frasassi. Passengers arriving at Ancona Airport can find out more about local tourism from the information desk in the terminal building, or from the tourist information centres located in the city.